Paper Mill Explosion in Miss. Kills One, Injures Others

May 5, 2008 - An explosion on Saturday at International Paper's Vicksburg mill in Redwood, Mississippi has left a contract worker dead and 17 others injured when a recovery boiler exploded after being restarted.

At least 400 IP employees, including contractors, were on site Saturday when the explosion tore through mill.

The explosion occurred as a boiler at the mill was being started after an annual maintenance shutdown, company spokeswoman Amy J. Sawyer said in a statement.

"We're in the process of making sure the boiler is safe to access so we can begin to investigate the cause and assess the damage and repair needs," the statement said.

Marcus Christopher Broome, a 28-year-old contract worker, was killed, the Warren County coroner said.

Five people were transferred to a burn center in Augusta, Ga., while the others injured were treated at a nearby hospital and released, officials said.

Four burn victims were in critical condition and the fifth was in good condition on Sunday at the Joseph M. Still Burn Center, hospital spokeswoman Beth Frits said in a news release.

Officials from the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration are investigating.

"The recovery boiler area, its processes and equipment are the most rigorously documented and monitored of any in the mill," IP said.

"This accident is the first of its kind in the mill's 40-year history, and our goal is to ensure it doesn't happen again," the company's statement said.

SOURCE: News Reports

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